It was anything but a “Red Carpet Worthy” day…
If there is one thing that having been a stylist’s model on Bravo Television’s “Shear Genius,” for their “Red Carpet Worthy” episode, which aired July 9, 2008, has taught me, it is that even reality is practiced. While I cannot speak for what happens on other reality television shows, I can tell you all right now that what you think happens during the taping of the contestant style shows is not all of what happens. I will not tell anyone that it is not timed, because in this case each stylist had, if memory serves me correctly, one hour to turn contestant’s hair, whose hair length varied for each contestant, into something that could be Red Carpet Worthy.
Shear Genius is a show that pits stylists against each other to see which of the chosen contestants will be named the “Shear Genius” at the end of the campaign. In the episode that I was interested in being part of, one which called on the models to have very long hair, the “audition” for me and those who were present at the time of taping in March of 2008, was to send in pictures of my hair. The models’ hair had to be a certain length. My hair length was what they producers were looking for. I was chosen to be one of the contestant’s models. That really was it — just send via email a couple of pictures to the producers of the show and they would decide whose hair would fit the requirements. Most of the conversations I’d had with anyone who was a producer of the show were had via email and phone.
The long, long day of shooting, retakes, and being made to wait…and wait…and wait…
Jacklyn Smith was a lovely hostess, treating all of the models to tales of what it was like to be one of Charlie’s Angels, but on the whole, the entire day was filled with models brushing our hair out, of us being herded into and out of the studio, of being told what to do, how to act, what to say, and so on and so forth. Having been a stylist’s model but one time taught me that indeed, I chose the correct profession for myself as a writer for the simple fact that I have very little patience for taking orders and being told what to do. Unless you know, you do not know that it takes a lot of patience to be told how to stand, where to sit, what to say, which way to turn, and how to look into the camera.
The day starts before sunrise, by the way, and ends whenever the cast – NOT the models – get it right according to what the producers want. And yes, really, all of this only from sending a picture of my hair to the producers – this is what I learned from that day on that set.
A lot of what we are shown on our favorite televised reality shows are not scripted, but it is something that follows a very strict timeline, takes a whole lot of discipline, and most of all, one MUST have a VERY thick skin because even as the hosts of the show were very gracious, the same could not be said for a few of the contestants at the time. If you want to be on reality TV, the best thing I can say to anyone who does not take very well to someone telling them what to do for more than 12 hours a day on average (I know this one because I asked my stylist, the very lovely and talented Gail ) is to go back to your childhood and remember what it was that you wanted to be when you grew up and be that.
Even if it is to be a stylist or a contestant on a reality television show.